The ink on the $1 billion deal that sent Ducati motoring over to Audi’s ownership is still not quite dry yet, and AMG, Mercedes-Benz’s performance group, has officially ended its “marketing relationship” with Ducati.
Ducati and Benz officially announced the shared marketing deal back at the 2010 LA Auto Show, but AMG just couldn’t keep the deal moving now that Audi, a direct competitor, owns the brand. First off is the awkward timing of the announcement, as the Diavel AMG – a Ducati and AMG collaboration bike – just hit showrooms. Audi hasn’t made an announcement regarding the AMG collaboration bike, but it’s likely to remain until all of the units are sold.
Honestly though, this looks almost like AMG is dropping the shared marketing plan out of spite by saying “The company takeover by a rival car manufacturer has understandably resulted in the end of any further collaboration.” Maybe we’re reading too much into it, but this is reminiscent of a teenage argument over whom is whose best friend and you can be friends with her because I don’t like her.
Honestly, with all of the mergers and collaborations that go on in the automotive and motorcycle realm, why would AMG really car if its rival car manufacturer bought a bike manufacturer that it shares advertising with. There has to be a little more to the story that will surely come out at some point.
The Honda DN-01 only made its debut a few years ago at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show, marking the first time the world saw Honda ’s “comfortable sports cruiser." In the process, the DN-01 launched a completely new motorcycle category, one that featured bikes that delivered strong V-twin performance delivered through a continuously variable HFT transmission.
After years of testing and development, the DN-01 was officially launched for production in 2009, boasting of the same styling features it had during its 2005 debut while also carrying technological advancements from the concept version.
There are many things about the bike that scream one-of-a-kind. It’s not individual parts that do this, but the combination of all these parts that make for a completely exciting set-up. For starters, the low-slung, aerodynamic form hints at the bike’s sporting intentions and is reinforced by the three-piston, dual disc brakes in prominent view on the DN-01’s 41mm front fork and 17" alloy front wheel. In addition, the DN-01 comes with an impressive 680cc liquid-cooled four-valve V-twin engine that’s mated to a continuously variable HFT transmission with a hydromechanical design that features two automatic modes and a six-speed manual mode with push-button shifting.
Put everything together and its obvious that the DN-01 is a new-age bike for the new-age customer. Fans of cruiser bikes will love the flat, low saddle, the V-twin power and the shaft drive while technophiles will enjoy the bike’s programmed digital fuel injection system (PGM-FI), the anti-lock, combined braking system, and the modern digital instrumentation.
At the end of the day, the DN-01 is a motorcycle, one that Honda engineers clearly set out to create with the intent of revolutionizing the market. The bike’s overall tenet of combining a true sporting performance with a fully automatic transmission, a low seat height, and exceptional style all comes to life on the DN-01.
Find out more about full specs of the Honda DN-01 after the jump.
When talking about Kawasaki and its versatile, do-everything bike, the name that will always come up is the Versys . It doesn’t have the same heritage as its Kawasaki contemporaries, but when it hit the scene a few years ago, it received universal praise from everybody, including being named the "Motorcycle of the Year" by Motorcyclist Magazine.
This year, Kawasaki is bringing back the Versys and if the 2010 model is any indication of what we’re in store for with the 2011 model, then prepare to make room for this bike in your garage.
It’s not even the most powerful bike in the Japanese bike maker’s line-up, but where it lacks in power, it more than makes up for in just about everything else. It looks great; it’s got enough performance capabilities to exude the Kawasaki tradition; and it’s got top-quality suspensions to make the ride as pleasant and as comfortable as possible.
Don’t mistake this bike for anything else. If you’re looking for breakneck power and speed, look elsewhere. But if you’re looking for a bike that gives a decent amount of everything you want, there’s nothing better than the Versys.
Find out more about the 2011 Kawasaki Versys Sport Motorcycle.
New kinds of motorcycles are born when different makers think at combining this and that to achieve what they believe the market asks for and when it comes to downhill riders, we usually don’t expect to hear an engine roar, but we’ve come to find that someone did thought at using the power from a 125cc four-stroke single on a light bike – 125.6 lbs (57 kg) – in order to get across high ground with greater ease. The bike is called FX Mountain Moto and it is the only engined downhill two-wheeler that we know about.
Light and nimble as a mountain bike and enough powerful to put it up against your everyday dirt bike, the FX Mountain Moto is a very successful combination coming from New Zeeland. In fact, this thing is claimed being the world’s lightest adult-sized dirt bike. Does that motivate you to pay $5,040 (€3,700) for it?
Remember The Uno prototype , the unicycle that looked like a great way to face-plant? Well, it is now turning into more than a fact and inventor Ben Gulak plans to produce the thing. Meanwhile, he made sure to turn The Uno into a unicycle that transforms into a two-wheeler as it reaches the speed of 20mph and this should mean a safer ride.
The inventor itself says: “The original Uno was quite scary to speed up on. This is a much more user-friendly experience.” To us, it looks like they made sure not even clowns will ride the thing, but we do have to appreciate the ingenuity. Hit the jump to see the new Uno prototype and expect preproduction models early next year.
Honda is keen on finding radical new approaches towards motorcycling and the 2009 DN-01 model is probably the best example of them all. Some people love it and others can certainly live without it, but despite the anticipation of critics, the DN-01 carries on being produced in 2009. Even more, it goes for the North American market and creates an entirely new category in the Japanese manufacturer’s lineup, something that tells us that there’s plenty where this came from as long as the market is positive and responsive about the first crossover motorcycle ever made.